Zion Riverside Food Centre, also known as Zion Road Food Centre, is a popular hawker centre located directly opposite Great World – considered one of the prime (aka expensive) locations in Singapore.
This is where you can still find affordable eats, with many stalls still being here since as I was young.
Do note that Zion Riverside Food Centre will be closed for Repairs and Redecoration/Renovation (R&R) Works from 1 Nov 2020 to 28 Feb 2021. East Coast Lagoon Food Village will also be renovating from 2 Nov 2020 to 1 Feb 2020.
During the ‘good old days’, I remember that Zion Road Food Centre is also a popular supper haunt for those who chiong Zouk and clubs nearby (until Spize came along, and many stalls also started closing earlier.)
Even though there it may be one of the smallest food centres around with 20 – 30 stalls, its offerings definitely do not pale in comparison to any of the other famous ones.
Here are 10 of the Zion Riverside Food Centre Stalls: (Note: several stalls are typically “sold out” before indicated closing hours)
No. 18 Zion Road Fried Kway Teow
Opening Hours: 12.30pm – 9pm (Mon – Sun)
Dark, Oily Char Kway Teow Previously Patronised By PM Lee
Easily the stall with the longest queue. The stall sells only Char Kway Teow fried-to-order in varying sizes, with the $4 plate being the basic option.
Their Char Kway Teow ($4, $5, $6, $8) is packed with robust flavours and a hint of spiciness with ladles crispy pork lard.
I found that the rice noodles were darker than usual, due to the substantial addition of the sweet sauce which also gave it a robust flavour.
The plate also came with a good helping of ingredients including cockles, fish cake, egg and Chinese sausages. However, I do find the standard slightly inconsistent at times. But when I get a good plate, it is really worth the calories. (Again, not all the times.)
It has even been patronised by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong before. (Come to think of it, it is one of the nearest food centre to 38 Oxley Road?)
Lau Goh Teochew Chye Thow Kway
Opening Hours: 11am – 3:30pm, 6pm – 11pm (Mon, Wed – Sat), 8:30am – 4pm (Sun). Closed Tues
Black and White Carrot Cake by Deaf Hawker
Carrot Cake seller Peter Goh might seem to be your usual hawker at first sight. In fact, he was extremely polite and smiled thoroughly, asking if you wanted more chilli and pepper.
It was only after reading a sign that I realised that he was deaf, and had to take orders by either lip-reading or through gestures.
Disability had not prevented him from taking over this popular stall from his father (who is Lau Goh).
The stall specialises in classic Teochew style carrot cake and sells both black and white carrot cake ($4 onwards depending on portion size). Those who cannot decide between the two options can simply get the black and white mixed version – the best of both worlds.
I found his version to taste ‘healthier’ and less greasy than usual, probably because Peter used vegetable oil instead of lard.
Fresh Taste Big Prawn Noodle (Noo Cheng Adam Road Big Prawn Mee)
Opening Hours: 11am – 10:30pm (Tues – Sun), Closed Mon
Hae Mee With Broth That Packs An Umami Punch
Of all the stalls at Zion Road, this is the one I frequent most often, and I don’t seem to get bored of its taste.
It is a branch of the original at Adam Road, and as such there may be some difference in terms of taste of the two.
The stall serves both dry and soup versions of their signature prawn noodle from $6 onwards. The size and number of the prawns do get progressively larger with the prices, but I always order the most affordable bowl.
Some new-comers may just scream at the price, at $6, $8, $12, $16, $20, $25. Do not be surprised, I actually hear the $20/$25 orders more frequently than expected.
Because I am there really for the soup.
Cooked for hours with pork ribs and prawn head, the broth was incredibly tasty (and I don’t get MSG attacks after.) Fresh Taste Big Prawn Noodle (Zion Road)
Boon Tong Kee Kway Chap Braised Duck
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm (Mon – Tues, Thurs – Sun), Closed Wed
Tender Braised Duck and Smooth Kway Chap
I initially wondered about the stall name, though it had no relation with the other famous chicken rice of similar name.
Boon Tong Kee Kway Chap Braised Duck specialises in Kway Chap ($3 onwards) which comes with braised eggs, duck meat and other ingredients. I liked that the rice noodles used was smooth and silky.
There are two types of chilli sauce, and I would recommend a combination of both. The thicker chilli for the meats, and the watery type for the kway and beancurd.
The stall is run by a relatively young Madam Yang, and although the recipe was derived from the internet and through experimentation instead of being some age old family recipe, it has already earned the stall popularity from customers. Boon Tong Kee Kway Chap Braised Duck (Zion Road Food Centre)
Mohamed Sultan Road Hot & Cold Cheng Tng
Opening Hours: 12pm – 9pm (Tues – Sun), Closed Mon
Cheng Tng of Old Family Recipe
I need to tell you that this version of Cheng Tng is entirely different from the traditional types you may be used to.
It comes with canned longans and lychees that may put off some fans of the classic recipe off. The base is also clear (and not brownish), with some of the sweetness coming from the canned syrup (I guess). Can be too sweet at times?
The stall only sells a few items, including Hot/Cold Cheng Tng ($2), Ginkgo Nut Longan Soup ($2.50), Ginkgo Nut Soup ($2.50) and Ginkgo Nut Sweet Potato Soup ($2.50). I would usually add on the soft ginkgo nuts.
Xin Fei Fei Wanton Noodle
Opening Hours: 9.30am – 1:30pm (Mon – Wed, Fri – Sun), Closed Thurs
Springy Old-School Wanton Mee
Seriously, I have no idea what the relation to the famous Fei Fei Wanton Noodles is. But to no offence to Fei Fei fans, I liked this version much more.
The stall specialises in Wanton Mee ($3.50, $4.50, $5.50). While it looked plain and unassuming in presentation, once you take a bite, you would know what I mean.
The noodles were thin and springy, coated in this addictive, somewhat lardy sauce. Its slightly plump and crisp deep fried wanton were also worthy of mention.
Long queue, long wait.
Ah Wang La Mian Xiao Long Bao
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm (Tues – Sun), Closed Mon
Cooked To Order La Mian and Guo Tie
This is one of the newest and most popular stalls in the food centre. It moved three times, and is now located at Unit 22.
Ah Wang La Mian Xiao Long Bao run by a Chinese couple specialises in Guo Tie or Pan Fried Dumplings ($6.50 for 10 pieces), Xiao Long Bao ($5 for 7 pieces), and Steamed Pork and Chive Dumplings ($5.50 for 10 pieces).
The Guo Tie had a thin and crisp outside layer, while the fillings of minced meat and vegetables were juicy. The stock within might just spurt out if you eat them hot.
For you woulld prefer something more substantial, you can try the Dan Dan Noodles ($4.50), Beef Noodle Soup ($4.50), Zha Jiang Mian ($4), Sour & Spicy Noodles ($3.50) or any of the other la mian offerings.
Seng Huat Western Food
Opening Hours: 11.30am – 2.30pm, 5.30pm – 8:30pm (Wed – Sun), Closed Thurs
Value for Money Western Food
The stall sells classic western food items such as Fish and Chips ($5) and Mixed Grill (7.50). (They used to have more exotic options such as Ostrich Steak.)
They also have Chicken Chop and Chicken Cutlet Rice dishes which comes with fried egg for just $3.50.
If not, go for the old-school classic options such as Grilled Chicken Chop and Chicken Cutlets ($5.50) which comes in sizeable portion of fries and baked beans.
Riverside Good Food
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 10:30pm (Wed – Mon), 11:30am – 6pm (Tues)
Fried White Kway Teow
Okay, this has generally a shorter line than the other Fried Kway Teow stall.
Riverside Good Food sells a variety of local delights such as Fried Hokkien Mee ($3 onwards), and Fried Oyster Omelette ($5 onwards).
The special item here is the White Kway Teow ($4 onwards), which is like normal fried rice noodles without the addition of sweet black sauce. Tasted less flavourful and ‘healthier’, so might not be everyone’s cup of tea.
Soon Lee’s Pig Organ Soup
Opening Hours: 10am – 2:30pm (Mon – Sun)
One of the more underrated stalls here.
They serve up peppery bowls of Pig Organ’s Soup ($3.50, $5), Lean Meat Soup ($3.50, $5), as well as Meat Ball Soup ($5).
For rice lovers, look out for their specials of Pig’s rotter Rice ($5), Braised Intestine Rice ($5) and Minced Pork Rice ($).
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